Daily News

Flexible technology developed by Alstom gives combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants the ability to operate at  highest efficiency when at 95% output, allowing for a 5%  base load power reserve at times of greater demand. "Our sequential combustion  system allows the efficiency peak  to be tuned to output, giving operators access to an extra power reserve within the plant base load range in periods of peak load demand or when ancillary services are asked by the electric grid system operator," Arno Stein, Head of Product Promotion at Alstom's gas business told Gas to Power Journal.

Though the Peterhead project can help prove the technical viability of CCS on gas-fired power generation, rolling out CCS at commercial scale will take more than just a successful demonstration: "It requires smart policies that allow industry to build a business case around the technology," Sean McCoy, analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA) told Gas to Power Journal.

The UK government's £1 billion programme to develop commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) is expected to demonstrate CCS for fossil fuel power generators at a cost as low as £100/Mwh by mid-2020's, putting it on a par with offshore wind, delegates at the 'Next steps for Carbon Capture and Storage in the UK' keynote seminar heard in London today. "By 2030 CCS could provide a significant portion of flexible demand," said Leigh Hackett, vice president at Alstom.

German fuel cell developer Sunfire has secured a seven figure euro investment from Total Energy Ventures and Electranova Capital. Sunfire’s product portfolio includes high-temperature solid oxide fuel-cells (SOFC) as well as solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs), power-to-liquid and power-to-gas systems. "Technology is at the tipping point of being robust and cheap enough for field applications and most trends in energy technologies over the next decades to come will improve market conditions for SOFCs," Nils Aldag, one of the founders of Sunfire GmbH told Gas to Power Journal.

Indonesia's PLN Enjiniring and GE are developing a "comprehensive marginal gas-to-power solution" with no pipeline infrastructure. Termed as a "virtual" pipeline, the pilot project in remote islands of Indonesia will use GE Oil & Gas' LNG-In-A-Box technology.

New data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) details the extent to which natural gas-fired power has pushed out coal-fired plants, with total U.S. coal consumption by power producers falling from 1 billion tonnes per year in 2008 to just 0.75 billion by 2012. New England showed the largest percentage drop as coal plant consumption dwindled from 7.5 million tonnes in 2008 to just 1 million tonnes by 2012.

U.S. manufacturer FuelCell Energy (FCE) has completed the world’s largest fuel-cell plant  at the Gyeonggi Green Energy site in South Korea, generating 59 MW of output from hydrogen formed out of natural gas. The fuel-cell park, located in Hwasung City in the north west of the country, provides baseload electricity to the South Korean electric grid as well as heat to a local heating system and is powered by 21 hydrogen fuel cells  each generating 2.8MW.

A new draft energy policy, the 'Basic Energy Plan', issued by the Japanese government entails a long-term commitment to nuclear power which is singled out as an "important baseload source". The move marks a U-turn from the "Zero Nuclear Power" proposed by the previous Japanese administration.

The announcement this week that the Peterhead CCS project will share £100 million of funding has paved the way for testing of the first commercial scale gas-fired power plant with CCS in the world. “This research will better understand the implications of long term exposure and operation of classes of carbon capture materials when functioning in the field,” Dr Mathieu Lucquiaud, a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh told Gas to Power Journal.

General Electric (GE) has announced it will extend its ecomagination initiative, investing a further $10 billion over the next six years with a focus on improving turbine efficiency. The programme which aims to develop sustainable products with minimal environmental impact will receive a total of $25 billion by 2020.

General Electric (GE) will be investing $1.4billion over the next four years to help meet the growing global demand for on-site power systems, the U.S.-based power major announced in Jakarta today at the launch of its new distributed power business while disclosing an array of related contract wins.

Algeria has stepped up gas-fired power generating capacity in the country with the award of multi-billion dollar contracts for new plants that will produce an additional 3000MW. Samsung C&T Corp won orders worth a combined $1.37 billion to build two new plants while Siemens Energy announced it will supply equipment to power the $450 million gas-fired plant in Biskra, Algeria.

News in Brief

Italy’s power exports Montenegro surge

Jan 22 – Italian electric power exports increased by 28% in 2020, largely driven by flows to Montenegro which surged 26% to 8.6 TWh. In contrast, domestic power demand fell 6% last year to 271.6 TWh with electricity sales from conventional plants down nearly 9% to 140.5 TWh, figures by the Italian energy exchange GME show.

US considers new nuclear

Jan 21 – The new US President Joe Biden has said his country could construct new nuclear power plants and reiterated plans to “swiftly rejoin” the Paris Climate Agreement swiftly. Germany’s environment minister, Svenja Schulze, called it illusionary to believe that newer, smaller reactors will be a technology of the future.

Mitsubishi produces methanol in Trinidad

Jan 20 – Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company has launched commercial operations of a methanol and dimethyl ether plant in Trinidad and Tobago. The plant has an annual production capacity of one million tons of methanol and 20,000 tons of dimethyl ether, which can be used as an alternative fuel for cars and power generation.

First 8-cylinder B36:45 engine delivered

Jan 19 – Rolls-Royce has delivered the first 8-cylinder variant of its Bergen B36:45 gas engine to a tomato producer in Belgium. The medium speed genset is planned for delivery this spring and will drive an onsite power plant that generates 4700 kW electricity and 5520 kW heat. The new engine offers a 20% increase in power per cylinder and will replace an existing Bergen 12-cylinder B35:40 genset.

Moody’s upgrades Enel to Baa1

Jan 18 – Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Enel’s long-term rating to Baa1, with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects Enel’s progress in reducing its risk profile, analysts said, pointing at the Italian utilities ongoing investment in networks and renewables, growing geographical diversification and focus on centralised financing.

GE sues Siemens Energy

Jan 15 – General Electric has sued its German rival Siemens Energy over the alleged use of stolen trade secrets to win gas turbine contracts worth several billion dollars. GE told the US district court in Virginia that Siemens received the secret information from a Dominion Energy employee.

Orbital Energy launches Eclipse

Jan 14 – Nasdaq-listed Orbital Energy Group has launched a new subsidiary, Eclipse Foundation, a drilled shaft construction company. The new company specialises in providing services for power transmission and substations, communication tower and a disaster restoration through emergency power.

S’Korean coal and LNG imports slide

Jan 13 – South Korea’s imports of thermal coal and LNG have fallen 12% and 11%, respectively, as the government cracks down on fossil fuel usage to curb air pollution. Customs data shows that coal imports amounted to 10.2 million tons in December, down 1.4 million tons from the same month last year but up from November’s imports of 9.5 million tons.

SMC builds 1.7 GW CCGT in Batangas

Jan 13 – Excellent Energy Resources, part of SMC Global Power Holdings, is building a 1,700 MW combined cycle gas power plant in Barangay Dela Paz and Ilijan in Batangas City with investments of about 67.863 billion Philippine Pesos ($1.41bn). The project is estimated to be completed in 36 to 40 months.

UK’s National Grid issues supply warning

Jan 12 – Natural gas prices in the UK surged as National Grid issued warnings on supply deficit as LNG cargoes are being diverted to North Asia. Prices at the British NBP gas trading hub soared to the equivalent of $8.95 per MMBtu, while the JKM price for North Asian spot LNG cargoes for February 2021 was last at $19.700 per MMBt.

Fortistar invests in hydrogen

Jan 11 – Fortistar, a privately-held fund, has joined an equity investment of up to $157 million in hydrogen producer BayoTech. Cottonwood Technology Funds and the New Mexico State Investment Council also participated in the latest financing round. BayoTech’s systems produce local hydrogen close to the application, serving end users in the industrial gas and petrochemical segment as well as those who use of hydrogen to power fuel cells.

Ashtead appoints new CFO

Jan 5 - Ashtead Technology has appointed a chief financial officer (CFO) and five managers for newly created roles across its international team. The appointments are meant to cement the company’s position in the offshore energy market, including offshore wind and decommissioning of thermal power plants

NFE secures LNG for Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua

Dec 23 – New Fortress Energy (NFE) has agreed to purchase Henry-Hub-indexed LNG for its integrated gas and power businesses in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Nicaragua. The New York-based project developer said it now has covered 80% of its expected needs throughout Latin America, thus reducing its need for spot purchases and its exposure to changes in the market price for LNG.

China and Korea mandate coal-to-gas switch

Dec 22 – The Chinese government has launched a coal-to-gas boiler switching programme, targeting 7.1 million homes, which makes gas demand more weather-sensitive this winter. Similarly, South Korea mandated the closure of 15 coal-fired plants since the start of December in an effort to reduce air pollution. Analysts expect this will accelerate the drawdown of LNG terminal inventories going into Q1-2021.

GE repowers oil field in Brazil

Dec 21 – GE Power Conversion has been awarded a contract by Sulzer Pumps UK to supply motors for four water injection pumps of a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. The 8,000 kW, two pole motors will run at 3,600 rpm with a limitation of the starting current at 300%, enabling the oil and gas field operator to optimise the generator which supplies electricity on the FPSO.

VELO distributes Sapphire Metal 3D-Printers in the US

Dec 18 – California-based VELO3D has formed a distribution partnership with GoEngineer for Flow pre-print software, Sapphire metal AM printer, and Assure quality assurance and controls. GoEngineer will be VELO’s only distributor in the United States.

Indian electric boats to achieve zero emissions

Dec 17 – Cochin Shipyard, India’s largest shipbuilder, has asked Siemens Energy to equip India’s first fleet of 23 boats with electric propulsion drive train, integrated with batteries and vessel automation. Combining the electric propulsion drive trains, energy storage, and automation systems is expected to significantly reduce fuel consumption.

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